Archive for August, 2009

Races You DON’T Want To Miss: The Quezon City International Marathon & The Cebu City Marathon

The Quezon City International Marathon
18 October 2009
Categories: 5K / 10K / 21K / 42K

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Good news to Cebu-based runners (whether permanent or otherwise) – you can register for this event in Cebu itself! =D Registration sites are the following:

All TIMEX Watches Branches Nationwide – Cebu, SM Megamall, SM Southmall, SM North Edsa, SM Mall of Asia, Greenbelt 3

Nike Park – Bonifacio High Street, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City

Secondwind Running Store – Teachers Village, Diliman, Quezon City

Other registration venues will be announced soon. For those who will be registering late due to uncontrollable circumstances, you will have to go to the Quezon City Hall for it.

Medals will be given away to 21K and 42K finishers. =D

Registration fees as follows:
Regular Rates (11 September – 4 October)
5K – Php300
10K – Php300
21K – Php500
42K – Php650

Late Registration (5 October – 11 October)
5K – Php450
10K – Php450
21K – Php650
42K – Php800

International participants have a registration fee of $40.

Assembly time and gun time listed below:
5K – 5:30AM, 6:00AM
10K – 5:15AM, 5:45AM
21K – 4:30AM, 5:00AM
42K – 4:00AM, 4:30AM

Click here for more information.

The Cebu City Marathon
10 January 2010
Categories: 5K / 21K / 42K

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You might be surprised why there is no 10K event for this race. The logic? They’re urging runners who have gotten used to running 10K to move up to the next level, so to speak. As such, they want veteran runners to test their skills and bravura by signing up for the 21K route. The 5K event is retained for those who want to try out running. And for the first time, the queen city of the south will have its very first 42K route, which will pass by the IT Park, the SRP, a portion of the Cebu Business Park, and Banilad. This is a good route indeed – it covers east to west and back.

In addition, this activity will be part of the Sinulog festivities next year. This race should be grand in itself. =)

Registration will start sometime in September. Watch out for it.

Click here for more information.

For those who deign on joining these races, train well, hydrate frequently, keep your spirits at par, and the best of luck! See you on the road! =)


Race Review: 1st Cebu Diamond Lions Charity Run, August 30

I was supposed to do a 10K today as part of my training for the September New Balance Event. However, due to a sudden attack of the sniffles I wasn’t able to run, not even once. Add to that, I have been rather busy with work lately and I arrive at the condominium at a wasted state. This is why I decided to gun only for a 5K. It’s better that I do that rather than do a 10K without any training runs whatsoever. Besides, after a good performance last Sunday, I thought it would be better to follow it up with a new 5K personal record.

I was able to convince one of my office colleagues, Froi, who had recently vowed to get himself working our frequently as he felt like he really needed it already. What better way to start your workout than with a simple run? As a result, I helped him choose the right running shoe for him yesterday while at Ayala. He got himself a stability-class shoe from Nike, and it fit his foot arch quite well.

We headed to the race site around 515AM this morning. Since we were not pre-registered we had to get our race numbers on the day of the race itself. There were quite a lot who weren’t signed up so we had to jostle our way around to get the registration forms, our race numbers, and our singlet. I learned a lesson today if you sign up for a race on race day itself – ALWAYS BRING A PEN. I have to keep that in mind. Hehehe. After 20 minutes of administrative matters we got ourselves warmed up. The sun was nearly high up come 6AM and it was starting to get hot. Luckily the race started promptly.

With a pace zone between 5:40 to 6:10 min/km, I was wondering if I’ll be able to shoot for a new record – preferably under 30 minutes – though I didn’t have any runs for the previous week. In addition, I still had the sniffles so I feared that my breathing capacity will be put in jeopardy. Also, the first half of the 5K route was going was a gradual uphill path! Since this was going to be a short race, I might as well push myself from the very start. I was going great on the first 2K but upon nearing the halfway point I was nearing dehydration. After getting a quick gulp of water, I made the turnaround and sped all the way downhill back to the finish line. The water station I passed had only one marshall in it, so the runners had no choice but to stop and get the drinking cups themselves. A big boo-boo indeed. =T

On the approach to KM4 I realized that I wasn’t going the sub-30 mark. The best that I could hope for was 31 minutes, if I was going to keep my pace. Though I was huffing and puffing already, I managed to push myself to top speed and concentrate fully until I got to the last few meters of the route, while my fists were clenched.

Upon arrival at the finish line I checked the GF 305, and it registered 30:42! I have broken my 5K record!!! =D Too bad I didn’t go under 30 minutes, though. But it doesn’t matter. I’ll work on that next time. =)

After 10 minutes of rehydration I decided to trace back my steps to look for my new running convert. I got to him 500 meters near the finish line. From there I ran with him with a pace of 6:30 min/km. My friend managed to finish his first 5K run in 44 minutes. Not bad at all. Kudos to you, Froi! I’m sure you’ll improve on your record the next time around. Soon you’ll be addicted to running, just like me. =P

Here’s my review of the race:

D (direction) – from the back of CIC, make your way to Archbishop Reyes. Upon reaching Juan Luna, make a left and tackle the uphill path going to the IT Park. Keep your spirits up because you’re going to need it! After passing the IT Park, Waterfront Hotel, and the Golden Cowrie, take your u-turn and do a downhill run of Juan Luna. Turn right at Archbishop Reyes until you see a u-turn leading back to the finish line. This 5K route possesses easy to medium difficulty due to the gradual incline at Juan Luna. But if you’re the type who eats hills for breakfast, then this should pose no problem for you.

R (registration) – you get yourself registered at the Cebu City Sports Center. But since we didn’t have time to go there, onsite would have to do. I wish they had satellite registration sites, though.

U (uhaw) – if you did a 10K route, you will get thisrty. The sun was hot when the clock hit 630AM. As for the water station, they could have used more marshalls so that runners who wish to break their records don’t have to stop and get their own drinking cups to have it filled with water. Again, hydration belts will work here.

M (money) – 200 bucks gets you your race pack, and a singlet. Relatively good amount.

S (safety) – volunteers from the CITOM and Ayala security kept the running route free from cars as much as possible and kept the traffic at bay. Thanks for your help, guys. =)

Pictures follow:

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The stage area.

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My convert to running, Froi.

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Myself with the new takbo.ph singlet. =)

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Way-too-proud finishers. =P

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Some of the participants.

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Some of the participants again.

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At the finish line.

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Froi’s turn!

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Very nice jerseys. =)

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Looking forward to encircle Lapu-lapu City with you soon, sirs! =D

Here’s the 5K route
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And a good split analysis. Positive splitting for the first 3K, and maintenance during the last two.
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Next race lined up for me is September 9 – the Don Sergio Osmena Run. That date is a local holiday here in Cebu, so I’m looking forward to be part of it. For those of you who want to get in, registration is at the Cebu City Sports Center. =)


Race Review: 4th Cebu Doctors’ University Run, August 23

I have to admit, when I woke up at around 430AM this morning, I wasn’t really in the mood to race. My mindset was not set at getting my legs moving due to a bad run last weekend. Clearly, I haven’t gotten over this “nightmare”. Moreover, I wasn’t looking after a new personal record because my spirits were not up and running. But I stood up anyway, not only for the fact I don’t want my 200 bucks to go to waste, but also because there was a window of opportunity to redeem myself. Heck, the door’s open for a new record, so might as well take it before its gone.

I arrived at the race site at around 515AM, at which point I began waiting for the Marathon Foodie as she was also going to run in the same category as I was in. After knowing that the course was going to be a relatively easy one, for the fact that the route was (nearly) vehicle-free, this was my big chance to run like hell and come back from a disappointing performance during the Urbanite event. I set my Garmin to have pace zones that will alert me if I’m going faster than 5:30 min/km, or if I’m going below 6:00 min/km. I didn’t have any tempo runs before this event, but I gunned for this pace anyway. Who knows, something good might happen.

The race start a little after 6AM, just before the sun began searing its rays on all the participants. The 10K course was going to be 2 laps of the 5K route.

For the first few kilometers I was doing well. Thank goodness that my stomach was treating me well so there were no chances of me having stomach pains this time. But 25 minutes after gun start the sun at its brightest, and I could feel the heat and humidity starting to settle in. Usually I could go for a 10K with minimal water breaks, but since it was getting hotter and hotter, there was no choice for me but to stop and to rehydrate, making sure not to ingest too much. As the run progressed further, the heat was starting to get unbearable, and I was slowly getting uncomfortable. The more I ran fast, the more I got thirsty and needing for water to pour above my head. As such, there was no doubt that I stop at every water station I saw along the way and got a few cups of water for my body and for my head. Too bad that they didn’t have any of those cold sponges that you could smother across your face – but it’s alright, pouring a cup of water over myself is enough to keep myself from falling apart.

At the approach to KM9 I was starting to break down. It was extremely hot already and the finish line was nearing. There was no time to lose, though I was still well within my target. One Cebu running legend, Madelyn Carter, came to the aid of several runners who were about to cross the finish line. One of them was myself. After passing the second to the last water station, I saw the Marathon Foodie making her final approach, screaming to push as hard as she could as the finish line was up ahead. Madelyn approached me and another runner and showered us with water, while she was telling us that there was a little more to go. After that, I thanked her and sped all the way to the finish line. 500 meters before reaching the arc, I got my last cup of water, gulped it quickly, and gave it all I got. The official race timer was nearly synchronous with my Garmin and both devices recorded a finish time of under 58 minutes!

SUCCESS! I HAVE BROKEN MY 10K RECORD!!! =D

After panting heavily and stretching a bit, I began wondering what had happened to the Marathon Foodie. I decided to retrace the route and she was nearing the finish line as well. Madelyn was pacing her as well, along with another runner. Upon checking the race clock, she was only 15 seconds close to beating the 60-minute barrier. We told her to push as much as she could and in the end, she also set a new record as well. She beat the 60-minute mark by 2 seconds. So that’s still a sub-60 finish!

Feeling good after the run, I got my baggage and brought out my camera, then began to take post-race pictures. Being that Haide was quite close with the media here in Cebu, she took me to the inner sanctum and the Cebu Doctors’ University, and she got me a picture with my childhood crush, Donna Cruz! Finally, one of my lifelong dreams realized =D I know I seem quite shallow, but really, meeting up with her for the first time really made my day. I even managed to get her autograph on the CDU singlet, which you’ll get to see later. In addition, I felt very happy when she told me that she reads through my blog and also that of takbo.ph. In fact, she even told me that there should a picture with takbo.ph! Good thing I was wearing the singlet. Thanks for the support!

I also got to meet Doctor Yong, her husband, and a couple of surprise guests who also took part of this event – Sunshine Cruz and Cesar Montano. When the CDU students saw them they couldn’t help but scream their hearts out.

Wow. I had a good run this morning. Broke my 10K record, met up with new running buddies, and a picture with Donna Cruz. Heck, my day is complete already. Now I relish this victory as I rest my legs off. =)

Here’s my review:

D (direction) – the race route is located at the Cebu Doctors’ University. Car-free, and pure flat ground, amidst dusty sections and portions of corrugated asphalt. This is an easy course and there’s no doubt you can set a new running record here. There’s one problem though. Since there was no race check-in, one could easily cheat on this run and start from somewhere else. I heard from sources that someone managed to cheat and got away with it. What a shame.

R (registration) – you can either head to CDU or to the Cebu City Sports Complex. It’s quite easy if you know the place. I had myself registered c/o Haide. Thanks again.

U (uhaw) – you WILL get thirsty in this race due to the heat, although there are more than ample water stations. So it would be best if you have a hydration belt with you while running.

M (money) – 200 bucks gets you a singlet and a Sun SIM card. Wow, that’s very generous of them. =)

S (safety) – there are lots of marshalls scattered along the route and its free of vehicles so there’s no danger for runners here. Lots of first aid response units also. The only risk I can see is that of dehydration, so drink when you need to.

Some pictures follow:

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Finishers!

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Runners with the Marathon Foodie.

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The Marathon Foodie and friends (Mary, Arlene, and Cattski).

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Now me with them.

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CDU students awaiting some showbiz appearances…

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With Donna Cruz! YES!!! =D

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The lawyer, the actress, and the man. Hehehe! =P

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Now this time, with Doctor Yong Larrazabal, Sunshine Cruz, and Cesar Montano.

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My autographed CDU singlet…

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Thanks again, Donna! =D

According to Haide there’s going to be one more Cebu run to cap off August 2009. Here are the details.

30 August (6AM)
1st Cebu Diamond Lions Club Fun Run
Venue: Cebu Business Park (Back of CIC)
10K, 5K, 3K
Registration Fee: P200
Registration Venue: Phil. Sports Commission

(@ Cebu City Sports Center)
Tel. No. 2547786 Look for Audie or Lerma

Here’s the race route

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And a split analysis. The slowdowns indicate water breaks.

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Another 10K for me? Sure! It’s part of my training program anyway. This time, I’ll be chasing for no new records. It’ll be a simple long run. =)


My September 2009 Races

As one of my running buddies would say, “hindi ako nagpapaghuli sa takbo“. =P It’s true most of the time, if you ask me.

Which is why as early as this month, I have already signed up for 2 major races for September, both of them falling under the half-marathon category. Once again, it’s back-to-back efforts for me!

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September 20 – ROTARun 2009 @ McKinley Hill
Sponsored by the Rotary Club, Php 200 will get you in this event, regardless of whatever distance you’re running (3K/5K/10K/21K). Race pack includes your race number, race route, freebies at the end of the race, and a good-looking singlet. The main beneficiary, according to Doc Pinky, are Philippine General Hospital cancer patients. Click here for further details.

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September 27 – New Balance Power Race @ The Fort
There are also different race categories here (3K/5K/10K/21K), with varying entry fees per category, ranging from Php 250 to Php 500. The race pack also includes your race number, race route, a 15% discount coupon at New Balance stores, and a sleek-fitting singlet. This race is also for the benefit of different cancer foundations. Click here for further details.

My training for these races starts this Monday, August 24, with the following regimen:

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I’ll be going for a new 21K personal record on the Power Race, for the reason that the ROTARun tackles the McKinley Hill paths twice – yes, you read it right, TWICE. Hence, I will treat this as a simple long run with an easy running pace. The 21K Power Race route will only ply the said path once, so there’s more chances for me to beat my time here.

Time to get serious once again. This should be exciting.

Wish me luck. =)


Race Review: Kenny Rogers Urbanite Night Run, August 15

Two words to sum up this race: PERSONAL WORST.

After being discharged from the hospital (see previous post) I said to myself that I’m going to beat my 10K personal record in this race, though I didn’t have that much training. After all, the Milo and Globe runs went well for me, and it was only half the distance, so this should be quite easy in a sense. But I thought wrong – this has got to be my slowest 10K ever, as I clocked in at an hour an 12 minutes. It was very disappointing for me since I could have gone in under 70 minutes. Why did I go slow?

(1) Gastric pain – at the first 3K I was pacing with Vic and Jinoe at a 6 min/km pace. So far my stomach was feeling okay. But after the 3K mark I started feeling initial discomfort that I had to stop running and walk it out a bit so that the feeling would subside. After several meters of walking I tried running again at the same pace for a short distance but the pain came back and I was forced to walk again. I told Jinoe to leave me behind as I didn’t want to drag him down. After several attempts of running and walking I decided to keep it to a slow pace of 7 km/min instead. It did work, especially after the halfway point, but at KM8.5 I couldn’t take it any longer. My mind and body were telling me stop. My stomach was cranking up! Screw the personal record, what mattered now was the finish the race though I as having some problems. Good thing Ellen saw me running on the road (she did only a 5K and decided to help one of our fellow runners, Marga, who I heard was struggling with her first 15K that time). After she saw she said that she would be pacing me until the finish line. Thank goodness at least there was someone who was going to give me that extra push. Thanks again for helping me pass that finish line, girl. I appreciate it. To be honest, I was close on quitting already. After the race one of the team’s resident doctors, Eric, told me that the problem I was experiecing was most likely caused by the brand of antibiotics I was taking that time. It did have some undesirable side effects on the stomach for a few individuals. Darn it, I had to be part of that few. Oh well, sometimes runners do get unlucky.

(2) Humidity – talk about a hot race in the middle of the night. You couldn’t expect much of the night breeze to comfort you. In fact, there was even no night breeze at all. The night was clear but it was as hot as hell. As I’ve read, many runners did complain about the same thing, so I’m not alone on this one.

(3) Not enough training – I told myself that after my discharge I’ll be pitching in one tempo run so that my system’s fueled. But my medicines were keeping me from that tempo run and I wasn’t feeling the need for speed. I resorted to plenty of carbo-loading instead. If I wasn’t hospitalized to begin with then I would have had a happy ending.

I couldn’t help but fell disappointed at my performance in this race. Take the 3 factors that I mentioned above and you would have another unique recipe for disaster. At least the consolation I have now is that I finished the race though I was injured. It’s better than a DNF.

The night culminated with the members celebrating their own victories. Neil and Rachel brought some bread and Nutella for us to eat while I brought some of Cebu’s finest lechon back home – 2 huge kilos of it. Too bad there wasn’t rice to match it. But the people did enjoy it, and as far as I know every single piece of it was consumed. Before anything else, I’d like to say “you’re welcome”. Hehehe. For those who weren’t able to have a whack at the lechon, don’t worry. There will be more opportunities to meet with you guys. Trust me. Later on the team broke up into groups, where they had their own little celebrations after the race. Some of them went to BHS and ate at New Orleans. Others went to Music 21 Jupiter and sang their hearts out. As for me, I went back to my room because I needed to rest. In fact, when I got to my bathroom I vomited the liquids I drank – including my dinner before the race. Pardon the gross imagery, but that what’s really happened.

Then somewhere between 2:30 to 3:00AM something unexpected happened. But that’s for another day.

Here’s my review of the race:

D (direction) – start off at the back of the NBC Tent, then make your way to Bayani Road. Make a u-turn just before reaching the Libinigan ng mga Bayani. Head on back, but run to McKinley Hill first, making sure to get to the final u-turn point at the British Embassy. Run back to where you entered, and finish off where you started. As simple as that. Given the unexpected humidity and the difficulty of the course (the hills are always a killer!), I’d give this one a hard.

R (registration) – thank goodness there were registration forms available in Cebu. I just asked someone to pick them up for me.

U (uhaw) – though there are sufficient water stations along the way, it’s best if you bring along a hydration belt, especially on humid runs like these, even if it’s just a 5K course!

M (money) – at first, 600 bucks looks too pricey, but you get a free meal from Kenny Rogers, freebies, and a free concert at the end of the run. In addtion, you get to run for charity. It’s every peso well spent.

S (safety) – maybe a headlamp would have been useful during the race since there were some portions which weren’t well-lit. But it’s alright, volunteers from the Army were there to help you show the way and keep you from harm. My thanks also those who were stuck in traffic while 3000 runners set foot to run their butts off. Their headlights illuminated the road quite well. I also send my apologies to them since we did keep them waiting for a while.

Some pics follow:

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See the face? That’s how hot it was, and how bad my stomach during that time.

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Nearing the finish line…

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Any KR event always has Marc Nelson in it. What the heck, now’s my chance.

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A portion of the team who ran in knee-high socks. It was their idea. =P

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Family picture # N. Goodness, we’re this much already!

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The best thing after a run – eating. =)

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Can I have some of that famed Cebu lechon? =D

Here’s the 10K route:

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And an analysis of my splits.

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At the very least I did end up with a surprisingly good result. Whew.

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My next race is due this Sunday at the Cebu Doctors’ University. It’s going to be another 10K run. I need to redeem myself on this one – hope I do well. As for the PR, let me think about it. =)


CONFINED – A Runner’s Ordeal With Amoebiasis

It all started 2 weeks ago when I had a generous serving of Filipino delicacies, including some oysters and clams. I was feeling fine and dandy for the first few days until I started vomiting on Saturday. Everything cultimated with continuous bouts of diarrhea that lasted until Monday. Since I felt that my stomach was on a complete rampage and would not cease its internal revolution (and upon the order of some of my colleagues from work), I had myself admitted at a hospital in Cebu. I felt that I could still handle the pain emanating from my stomach, but it did come to some point that it did become unbearable. Immediately I was taken to the emergency ward to do some initial analysis. At first I thought that this was going to be some quick treatment, but when I saw one of the nurses bringing a bag of dextrose to me, oh boy, did I fear for the worst. So there, I got to experience my first intravenous line – WOW, it not as easy as it looks, and it does come to a certain time when it gets painful and annoying (because you have to minimize your movement).

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Yowch. Trust me, it HURTS.

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Though I’m in the hospital, I am reminded to live strong.

My running schedule got completely ruined because of this. This week I was supposed to do my remaining training before the Urbanite event. But now that I was stuck on a hospital bed, I guess I pretty much have no choice but to get myself well so that I’ll back on the road again. As Jet puts it, maybe it’s God’s way of telling me to stop for a while and catch up on some things. Admittedly, he’s right. I have been quite in a storm lately, if you know what I mean. Until now I still am and hopefully it will end soon, with God’s grace and benevolence.

It was quite saddening when I was transferred from the ER to my official room. I was far from my family, my friends, my girlfriend (I miss you loads already) – who in the world was going to watch over me? The only company I had was my cellphone and the television, but thankfully, I was able to adapt to the situation and didn’t feel that lonely as the hours progressed. But seriously, things are quite different when you’re alone AND on the other side of the country. You’ll see (and feel) what I mean if you were in my shoes.

I had to undergo a strict diet – nothing oily, and nothing with milk. Good thing I was allowed to eat 3 times a day. But the meals I had were not the ones I would usually gorge during a carbo-loading session. Some sacrifices must be made, indeed. It’s all for the betterment of my health, right? It’s something I had to deal with. Nevertheless, I have a relatively yummy serving of steamed beef/chicken, matched with soup and some fruit. It wasn’t that filling, but it’ll do the job. Might I say, it’s hard to eat with an IV line sticking out of your hand, and do your stuff in the bathroom at the same time. Can you spell physical challenge?

But though I was confined, my office colleagues did keep me company at night. One of our family friends currently based here in Cebu also managed to visit me. What’s more, I got a surprise a couple of my running buddies. =)

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The Gingerbreadman was at Cebu that time doing a series of lectures for some schools. I was really caught off-guard as he really did take time to drop by the hospital and check how I was doing. Many thanks to for that one, bro! In addition, the Marathon Foodie also dropped by with a pack of bananas and a can of Stick-O (which I haven’t quite finished until now). Thanks also to you, MF! You rock!

I was released 2 days after, sensing that my stomach was doing fine. In fact, the night before my discharge I managed to eat some congee from Chowking. I had a sudden craving for it, like a pregnant mother would. Hehehe. Thanks goodness that my nurse and doctor allowed me to eat that, after all, it was soup, right? The doctor gave me some antibiotics to drink for the next few days. I had to bear with 3 brands – and they were quite strong. At points they really made me sleepy and nauseous. In fact, during the first days of my medication, I wasn’t able to run, even for just a short distance. Feeling that I would be a total wreck come the Urbanite run, I decided to let it go and see what will happen come the Urbanite event.

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Check out that hospital prescription.

After getting my medicines from the drugstore I felt massive carbohydrate deprivation. This is the very reason why I dropped by Sbarro at Ayala Center Cebu and at Corner Bakery to regain what I had lost during hospitalization. Will a couple of deep dish pizza slices and 2 sweet cupcakes bring it all back? My answer to that will have to be a resounding yes.

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Finally, out of the hospital. Now I have to watch what I eat this time around while I’m still here in Cebu.

How will this affect my performance during the Urbanite run? Check out my race report on it. That is due tomorrow. =)


Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen – AND RUN)

Does anyone remember Baz Luhrmann (or know him, at least)? He’s a director who is well known for the “Sunscreen Speech”, an essay written by Mary Schmich published in 1997. The essay contains exactly 28 pieces of advice which the author intended for the youth during her time, but since it is most likely that her intended audience wouldn’t take it seriously, the essay was then named “”Advice, Like Youth, Probably Just Wasted On the Young”.

The director lifted the essay and turned it into a remix of his own in the form of a song. It is most probable that you have heard this one before, but if not, take time to watch the video below.

I made my own version of this speech, for the running community. Enjoy.

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’99… wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proven by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth – for such youth gives you the drive to run longer and run harder. Run as much as you can; when you look at your life after 20 years have passed you will be glad that you started running and you will be telling yourself that it was not one of the regretful decisions that you have ever made in your lifetime.

Don’t worry if you’re never going to achieve a running goal. In fact, don’t even worry at all. This is the reason why God has given you 365 calendar days per year to train and eventually achieve it. Remember, all goals are achievable, running-related or otherwise, with a little faith, perseverance, and practicality.

Try a new running route if you get the chance.

Sing while running, if you want to.

Don’t be reckless with other runners’ feelings. They are human also, trying to reach their dreams, just like you.

Never brag.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your running records – and use them to improve yourself.

Stretch before AND after any run, long or short.

Don’t feel guilty if you didn’t get to do your required mileage for the week or if you didn’t achieve a certain distance during your run. Think of it this way – at least you will have more energy the next time you hit the treadmill or the road.

Get plenty of calcium while you’re young.

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll finish a full marathon, maybe you won’t; maybe you’ll run an ultramarathon, maybe you won’t; maybe you’ll break your personal running record, maybe you’ll win in a road race; whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half-chance, so are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body, and use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it; it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance – especially if the need calls for it.

Read the directions. You’ll be glad you did.

Do NOT compare yourself to other runners; you’ll end up being miserable.

Get to know other runners in your vicinity; you’ll never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your running buddies; they’re the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go; but for the precious few, you should hold on.

Work hard to get what you want; it will pay itself off in the future. As a cliched saying goes, “no pain, no gain”. These four words are mere drudgery to a select few, but there really is truth in it.

Live life as you normally would. NEVER make running your life, unless you’re an athlete; make running a part of your life.

Travel. And if you get the chance, run at where you’re travelling to.

Accept certain inalienable truths – for example, there are some people who are naturally gifted with speed, certain running shoes are quite expensive, or our legs will wear down after time. Only one truth is for sure – you’ll be glad you got hooked on running.

Respect the race organizer’s decision.

Support groups will be there to help you finish a race, especially a long-stretching one. But don’t expect them to help you out all the time. A little concentration and determination goes a long way.

Don’t engage in a long race without prior training – unless you have a death wish in mind.

If you can ask advice from experienced runners, don’t hesitate. They have much to offer to you and they are willing to help you out when you enter your first running event. Learn from them and heed their words – almost every single one of them will be indispensable.

But trust me on the sunscreen.